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The Trial of Christ, by David K. Breed, [1948], at

p. 62



Mr. Rollins 97 says Rome had "nothing to do with the arrest of Christ other than to furnish the soldiers to accompany the accusers" and then goes on in a homiletical style, to review the public career of Jesus as a background for the tria1, 98 and after a brief discussion of the Sanhedrists and their actions, 99 devotes the remainder of his book 100 to a discussion of Pilate, Herod and Pilate's wife, in narrative fashion and without citation of authorities. Mr. Chandler 101 devotes considerable space to extraneous discussions of Roman Law and Procedure and concludes that while Pilate commenced the hearings in proper dignity and reached an opinion that would result in an acquittal, he vacillated into compliance with the wishes of the Jewish mob. We confine ourselves to

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technicality as to the issues involved, and refer the reader to Chandler for a more abstract discussion of Roman Jurisprudence.

There are two documents in ancient Roman Law that are basic, The Laws of The Twelve Tables 102 and the Code of Justinian. 103 We need concern ourselves only with the former to convict Pilate of legal error in his treatment of Jesus. 104 We will cite table and sentence from the Twelve Tables as we have cited Chapter and Verse from The Bible.

The Gospels give the Roman trial considerable mention, 105 and yet only a few statements are made which we need examine in order to establish that Roman government was supreme over the Sanhedrists and that Christ "was condemned to death in the reign of Tiberius by the Procurator Pontius Pilate." 106

Now—What does the record show and wherein did Pilate err?

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1. Pilate did not hold hearing until dawn, 107 but some say he should have compelled the Sanhedrin to obey the Jewish and Roman law against night trials. 108

2. Pilate erred in permitting the Sanhedrists to examine Jesus in private 109 when trials had to be public in those days 110 as now. 111

3. Pilate erred in not requiring the testimony of witnesses, Roman Law agreeing with the Jewish and our law on this point. 112

4. Pilate should have released Jesus when he found "no harm" in Him. 113 On this point the Law of the Twelve Tables is crystal clear. Archeologists have not found all of the stone fragments of The Twelve Tables, but Professor Conant explains that all have been collated by Bruns from other sources and

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[paragraph continues] Conant translates as Table IX, verse 6, "The decrees of the Twelve Tables forbid any uncondemned man whomever be put to death." 114 All of the best writers agree that Pilate, finding no harm in Jesus, should have released him then and there. 115


62:97 Op. cit., p. 5.

62:98 pp. 5-16.

62:99 pp. 17-43.

62:100 pp. 44-70.

62:101 Op. cit., Volume II.

63:102 Promulgated in 450 B. C.

63:103 529-534 A. D.

63:104 Conant's translation of the Bruns’ Text, (1928) St. Louis Law Review, Vol. xiii No. 4.

63:105 Matt. 27:11-26; Mk. 15:2-15; Lu. 23:1-24; John 18:30-19:16.

63:106 Tacitus, Annales, xv:44; Apostle's Creed, "suffered under Pontius Pilate"; John 19:16; Luke 23:24; Mark 15:15; Matthew 27:26.

64:107 Matt. 27:1.

64:108 XII TAB. I, 7, 8; Edersheim, op. cit., II, 557; Drucker, op. cit., pp. 8 & 10; Chandler, op cit., I, 219, 238, 260, 263.

64:109 John 18:28—"They themselves went not into the judgment hall."

64:110 XII TAB. I, 7.

64:111 U. S. Constitution, Amendment VI.

64:112 Footnotes 29 and 111, Supra; XII TAB. VIII, 23.

64:113 Matt. 27:24 "this just man"; Lu. 23:4, 14, 22; John 18:38.

65:114 Conant, XII TAB. IX, 6, quoting, "SALVANUS, (de gubern. dei. 8, 5, 24): 'Interfici—indemnatum quemeunque hominem etiam XII tabularum decreta velverunt.'"

65:115 Rollins, op. cit., 23, 47; Chandler, op. cit., II, 116, 152, and works cited.

Next: Chapter VIII. A Lesson in Citizenship